Inside: Discover the secret to soft, defined curls with our detailed guide on the “Scrunch Out the Crunch” method for naturally curly hair. Learn how to use and love the gel cast for your best curls yet.
Have you heard of the “Scrunch Out the Crunch” method? If not, I am excited to introduce you to this technique that’s been a game-changer for me.
Let’s learn all we can about the magic that is SOTC!
A Crunchy Encounter: Understanding the Cast
Before we delve into the “Scrunch Out the Crunch” (SOTC) method, it’s vital to understand the concept of the “cast”.
The Gel Cast Effect
Have you experimented with gel before? If so, you may have noticed that after applying gel to your wet hair, it dries to form a hard, crispy coating, almost like a shell.
If you are a 90s teenager like me and were best friends with gel back in the day, most likely you just left that cast on…crunch and all. Although crunchy and stiff curls are actually a good thing, you don’t want to leave it that way.
Why the Crunch is Good
Why is the crunch or “cast” that forms around your curls after applying gel actually a good thing?
Because it serves as a protective layer, helping your curls maintain their shape as they dry, preventing frizz, and enhancing definition. This cast locks in the moisture and structure of your curls until they’re completely dry.
The Magic Begins: The “Scrunch Out the Crunch” Method
Once you’ve gotten past the fact that crunch = good, it’s time to embrace the magic of the SOTC method.
Essentially, this process involves scrunching your curls once they’re completely dry to break that gel cast, revealing the soft, defined, bouncy curls underneath.
For me, this is my favorite part of the Curly Girl Method. There is something oh-so satisfying about getting rid of that cast and revealing beautiful, defined, and soft curls.
The Perfect Time to Scrunch
Patience is definitely key here, my curly friends.
Your hair needs to be 100% dry before you begin scrunching, or else you risk causing frizz and losing that definition we’ve worked so hard to achieve.
This could mean air drying for a few hours or using a diffuser if you’re short on time.
What I like to do, is dry my hair with a diffuser about 90% and then let it air dry the rest of the way.
The Scrunching Technique
Now, the actual “scrunch out the crunch” technique is pretty simple.
Use clean, dry hands (or a t-shirt or microfiber towel if you prefer) and gently scrunch your curls upwards towards your scalp, just like when you applied your gel.
You’ll start to feel the cast breaking and your curls softening.
It’s almost like unwrapping a gift, with each scrunch revealing those soft, defined curls we all love! (OK, that was kind of dumb to say, but seriously, it does kind of feel like a gift so…)
Tips to Make the Most of SOTC
Alright, now you know what SOTC is and how to do it. But before you run off to try it out, here are some of my personal tips to make the most of this method.
Use the Right Amount of Gel
Remember that the cast forms because of the gel you use.
Too little, and you might not get a cast at all.
Too much, and you could end up with an overly hard cast that’s tough to scrunch out.
You want it juuuust right. (I will not make a three little bears reference here.)
It might take some experimenting to find the perfect amount for your hair, but don’t worry – that’s part of the journey!
And don’t forget to look for products with ingredients that are good for your hair.
Here are a couple of my favorite gels:
Consider Adding an Oil
One trick I’ve found helpful is to add a little oil to my hands before scrunching. The oil helps to break the cast more efficiently and adds some extra shine to my curls.
Plus, it helps prevent any accidental frizz caused by your hands.
But again, you need to be sure you’re using the right amount of oil for your hair. I once used way too much and let me tell you…that’s not a good look.
Don’t Rush the Process
As I mentioned earlier, don’t rush the process.
Allow your hair to dry fully before you start scrunching.
Now it’s your turn to try it!
I hope this post helps you understand and embrace the “Scrunch Out the Crunch” method. It’s been a revelation in my curly hair journey, and I hope it brings you as many fabulous curls as it’s brought me.